In Halifax, federal cash has gone missing and questions of are being asked of a handpicked Conservative candidate who stepped down after it was revealed she had a criminal record.
Just about three months ago the federal government gave All Women's Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA) of Halifax almost $143,000. Nova Scotia cabinet minister Peter MacKay even delivered the cheque himself. Now the agency says it has to close its doors temporarily because it has almost run out of money.
Many people in the Atlantic province are watching this one very closely since the now suspended executive director Rosamand Luke was for a brief time the Conservative candidate for the riding of Halifax. In July 2006, Luke was convicted of uttering threats and sentenced to 18 months probation. She was also convicted of breaching an undertaking in June 2007.
The two remaining AWEDA board members say about $84,000 was paid to Luke without proper documentation. Among the other things, the board is curious about a cheque for about $2,200 Luke wrote to a company where her daughter works. Another $1,500 cheque was for expenses related to MacKay’s announcement in June of the $142,700 grant.
In what may be a classic understatement, MacKay told the Halifax Chrionicle-Herald, "it's a concern."